Brownies should be brownies. I learned that lesson the first time I tried Jessica Seinfeld’s brownies with spinach and carrots back in 2007. The vegetables were visible in the completed brownie (as evidenced above) and the spinach taste never really went away.
I couldn’t very well leave experimenting with brownies alone when I recently was doing research to incorporate coconut oil into a batch. But I went a step further and wanted to see how it would do with chia seeds. Yes, those same seeds used on Chia Pets. They’re edible and apparently have some health benefits discovered by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, anti-oxidants, keep you fuller longer… really, the list just goes on and on. So why not concoct a brownie recipe with chia seeds AND coconut oil which increases the level of good cholesterol?
The chia seeds replace the use of eggs (a gel forms around each seed when soaked in water) while the coconut oil is a healthy alternative to other fats. The final result was definitely brownie-like: fudgy with a nice chocolate base despite a bit of a oil seeping from the bottom of the batch. The cream cheese is the only bit of decadence in this recipe but the most discriminating brownie lover won’t be fooled. While healthy, it ain’t no brownie.
Chocolate Chia Seed Coconut Oil Cheesecake Brownies
Makes 12 brownies
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup almond flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a cup, mix the chia seeds in 1/2 cup of water and let it rest for 30 minutes until a gel forms around the seeds.
In a large bowl, whisk together the chia gel and almond flour. Add one egg at time making sure to throughly mix it in the batter.
In a separate bowl, combine coconut oil, cocoa powder, white and brown sugar, vanilla, salt and baking soda. Slowly add mixture a cup at a time to batter.
Pour the batter into a greased 8″ x 8″ pan. Melt cream cheese in the microwave and incorporate into the brownies by dropping dollops onto the batter. With a knife gently swirl the cream cheese to incorporate into the batter.
Bake for 35-50 minutes, or until a toothpick (or sharp knife) inserted in the center of the brownie pan comes out clean and the top is dry.
Remove from oven and cool overnight.
Related: Retro Television and Six-Million Dollar Man Cocoa-Nut Cookies
Hmm… I wonder if a brownie recipe could take chia seeds OR coconut oil, but having both was just health-nut overload? I’ve been putting chia seeds in my smoothies but haven’t gotten brave enough to bake with them.
You might have a point. I couldn’t figure out why the coconut oil and cream cheese seeped to the bottom. Maybe the chia seeds didn’t have enough mass to hold them up…
I’ve used coconut oil as a replacement for butter in cupcakes and they turned out well. Maybe the brownies still just really needed the egg? I chuckled when I saw the title of this post!
Yeah, I’m thinking the egg substitute was now a bad idea. Too many healthy things can’t be included in a dessert!